Document and Entity Information - USD ($)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Feb. 16, 2021
Jun. 30, 2020
Document Information [Line Items]   
Document Type10-K  
Amendment Flagfalse  
Document Period End DateDec. 31, 2020  
Document Fiscal Year Focus2020  
Document Fiscal Period FocusFY  
Entity Registrant NameBERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC  
Entity Central Index Key0001067983  
Current Fiscal Year End Date--12-31  
Entity Well-known Seasoned IssuerYes  
Entity Current Reporting StatusYes  
Entity Voluntary FilersNo  
Entity Interactive Data CurrentYes  
Entity Filer CategoryLarge Accelerated Filer  
Entity Small Businessfalse  
Entity Emerging Growth Companyfalse  
ICFR Auditor Attestation Flagtrue  
Entity Shell Companyfalse  
Entity File Number001-14905  
Entity Incorporation, State or Country CodeDE  
Entity Tax Identification Number47-0813844  
Entity Address, Address Line One3555 Farnam Street  
Entity Address, City or TownOmaha  
Entity Address, State or ProvinceNE  
Entity Address, Postal Zip Code68131  
City Area Code402  
Local Phone Number346-1400  
Document Annual Reporttrue  
Document Transition Reportfalse  
Entity Public Float  $ 336,500,000,000
Documents Incorporated by ReferencePortions of the Proxy Statement for the Registrant’s Annual Meeting to be held May 1, 2021 are incorporated in Part III.  
Common Class A [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding 640,586 
Security 12b TitleClass A Common Stock  
Trading SymbolBRK.A  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
Common Class B [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding 1,336,348,609 
Security 12b TitleClass B Common Stock  
Trading SymbolBRK.B  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 0.750 Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title0.750% Senior Notes due 2023  
Trading SymbolBRK23  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 1.125 Senior Notes Due 2027 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title1.125% Senior Notes due 2027  
Trading SymbolBRK27  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 1.625 Senior Notes Due 2035 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title1.625% Senior Notes due 2035  
Trading SymbolBRK35  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 1.300 Senior Notes Due 2024 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title1.300% Senior Notes due 2024  
Trading SymbolBRK24  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 2.150 Senior Notes Due 2028 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title2.150% Senior Notes due 2028  
Trading SymbolBRK28  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 0.625 Senior Notes Due 2023 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title0.625% Senior Notes due 2023  
Trading SymbolBRK23A  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 0.000 Senior Notes Due 2025 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title0.000% Senior Notes due 2025  
Trading SymbolBRK25  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 2.375 Senior Notes Due 2039 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title2.375% Senior Notes due 2039  
Trading SymbolBRK39  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 0.500 Senior Notes Due 2041 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title0.500% Senior Notes due 2041  
Trading SymbolBRK41  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  
M 2.625 Senior Notes Due 2059 [Member]   
Document Information [Line Items]   
Security 12b Title2.625% Senior Notes due 2059  
Trading SymbolBRK59  
Security Exchange NameNYSE  

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